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About Our Programs

Next Wave Festival


The 2016 Next Wave Festival has been announced.

Subscription on-sale dates
Jun 6: Members
Jun 13: General Public


BAM's Next Wave Festival has permanently changed the artistic landscape, featuring breakout performances and landmark productions. Using a name that plays on the New Wave in French cinema, BAM president and executive producer Harvey Lichtenstein launched a series entitled "The Next Wave/New Masters" in November 1981 with four productions: three dance works, plus Philip Glass' new opera Satyagraha. A more ambitious program followed in 1982, including a two-evening performance work by Laurie Anderson entitled United States: Parts I-IV.

The success of these first two years helped propel a bolder and riskier program in the years to come—one that has defined BAM and an entire generation of artists. In October 1983, the Next Wave Festival was launched, which spotlighted exciting new works and cross-disciplinary collaborations by promising young artists. The Next Wave was groundbreaking for taking works that had previously been shown in downtown lofts and small "black box" theaters and presenting them in the exquisite 2,100-seat BAM Opera House (now the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House), a renovated 1,000-seat playhouse (the Helen Carey Playhouse, later converted into BAM Rose Cinemas), and the flexible 300-seat Lepercq Space. In 1987, BAM opened another large stage-the 874-seat Majestic Theater (since renamed the BAM Harvey Theater in honor of Harvey Lichtenstein)-with a landmark production of Peter Brook's The Mahabharata. Current Executive Producer Joseph V. Melillo was the producing director of the Next Wave in its inception and continues to spearhead BAM's adventurous programming roster with emerging and established artists, including Steve Reich, Meredith Monk, Robert Wilson, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane, and Lev Dodin.

Next Wave Festival 2016
Sep 7—Dec 18, 2016
Next Wave Festival 2016
Sep 7—Dec 18, 2016
The Next Wave Festival returns with four packed months of pathbreaking performance, plus artist talks, master classes, and visual art.
Past Seasons
2014 Next Wave Festival

The 2014 Next Wave Festival showcases the very best in contemporary performance.

Sep 9—Dec 20, 2014
2013 Next Wave Festival

The 2013 Next Wave Festival showcases the very best in contemporary performance.

Sep 17—Dec 22, 2013
30th Next Wave Festival

The 30th Next Wave Festival showcases work by emerging artists and innovative modern masters.

Sep 5, 2012—Jan 19, 2013
Next Wave Festival 2011

Showcasing work by emerging artists and innovative modern masters.

Sep 21—Dec 15, 2011
Next Wave Festival 2010

Presenting adventurous art for adventurous audiences.

Sep 21—Dec 19, 2010
Next Wave Festival 2009

BAM's signature program, featuring dance, music, theater, film, and more.

Sep 15—Dec 19, 2009